Armenian newspapers quote Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian as saying that he could have claimed credit for the last-minute removal of a clause in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly’s resolution on Armenia that explicitly referred to Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan. “But the laurels rest with our parliamentarians and I congratulate them on that,” Oskanian said in what could be interpreted as an ironic response to their criticism of the Armenian Foreign Ministry.
“Victory has many masters, while defeat is an orphan,” a member of the Armenian delegation at the PACE, Armen Rustamian, tells “Aravot.” “The easiest thing to do is to lay the blame on someone else or look for the guilty, which is being done best in our reality. In the process the question of what needs to be done to prevent all of this is getting lost.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that leaders of the Armenian parliament majority disagree that that the opposition boycott has plunged the National Assembly into crisis. Nonetheless, they hope that opposition deputies will resume their work. “We must be able to ensure the opposition’s presence in the parliament,” says Galust Sahakian, the leader of the Republican Party’s parliament faction. “I think that time will come when the public, the people will demand from the opposition to return to performing its duties because I am convinced that the fact of abandoning legislative work may have negative consequences.”
“Naturally, the existing atmosphere is extremely undesirable,” the leader of the People’s Deputy non-partisan group, Karen Karapetian, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “We don’t think that further developments will lead to a parliamentary crisis. But the situation is already worrisome. The government and the opposition are a single body. Therefore, one’s absence affects the other. The People’s Deputy group is discussing the situation in the parliament and, as a neutral force, is ready to assume the role of a mediator between the government and the opposition.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that tension is being primarily whipped up by the opposition National Unity Party and its leader Artashes Geghamian, accusing them of “blackmailing” the authorities by capitalizing on “the country’s difficult international standing.” The paper says Geghamian is building political capital for eventually offering the authorities a power-sharing deal.